This fund was established February 2, 2007, with gifts from the University Urology Education and Research Foundation, Inc., and friends of the Department of Urology with support from the College of Medicine. Income supports an endowed professorship position in the Department of Urology in support of a nationally recognized urology faculty member undertaking clinical, educational, and research activities in the field of urology.
In April, 2016 the professorship became the Henry A. Wise II, MD, Chair in Urology.
We are humbled by the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Wise.
The Henry A. Wise II, MD, Endowed Professorship Fund was established in February of 2007. Gifts were received from the Urology Education and Research Foundation Inc and friends of the Department of Urology, with support from the College of Medicine. This fund was given in honor of Henry A. Wise II, MD. Dr. Wise is currently a clinical professor emeritus and has held the positions of assistant professor, associate professor, division director and clinical professor in Urology from 1972 through 2000.
It is only fitting that the first Wise Professor should be a urologist whose area of expertise is management of kidney stones. Dr. Bodo Knudsen is an associate professor, director of the OSU Comprehensive Kidney Stone Program, medical director of the Health System Outpatient Urology Services and vice chair of clinical affairs in the Department of Urology. He is currently the interim chair of the department and residency director. He has authored 42 abstracts, 6 chapters, 37 conference papers and proceedings, 58 journal articles and more than 100 scholarly presentations. He has served as editor or reviewer on ten journals. He has been an advisor in the Medical Student Learning Communities since 2009. His installation as the Henry A. Wise II, MD, Professor has been well earned.
Henry A. Wise II, MD took part in an interview in the winter of 2010. Here are a few excerpts from his comments:
"I came to The Ohio State University in 1972, after having finished my training at Johns Hopkins. Actually, I had planned to go into private practice in Petersburg, Va., but one day my professor, Dr. William W. Scott, came to me and said, ‘You like to teach and you should take a look at an opening at Ohio State with Chet Winter who is a good person.’ So I came to Columbus to take a look, and I was impressed with Dr. Winter, finding him to be a straightforward person who was truly committed to teaching He offered me a job, and from the first day that I walked into work he treated me as an equal which I thought was really unusual. And that’s the way it always was with him. He had a very sparsely staffed department. We had Chet and me and Jack Taylor, who was always in a feud with Chet. So it was really a 2 man division. We had our clinic in Starling-Loving Hall, and I had my office there also. It was a fun time to be in academic medicine. Each of us had one employee, and my girl did everything: she did the billing; she did the scheduling; she did the nursing. With such a small staff we all worked together pretty darn well. In those days urology was a division in the Department of Surgery, and it was chaired by a brilliant surgeon but a real tyrant, Dr. Robert Zollinger.. He was an interesting guy. I never heard him say a kind word about any of the faculty, and he ruled by intimidation. I think he tried to intimidate Chet also, and being a new faculty person this interaction made for an interesting time. I was glad that I was out of the way in Starling-Loving.
“In the '70s and early '80s there always seemed to be problems between the university administration and the medical school faculty, especially after Enerson became the president of OSU and when he appointed Dr. Cramblett as the Dean with instructions to ‘change the black hole’ that was the medical school. I think it was about 1978 when we really had very severe political problems which in fact led to having the entire anesthesia department quit one morning. When this happened, I think we had something like 40 or 50 patients in the hospital on our service, and we had to move any surgical candidates out of the hospital. At that point I said to myself that, if they are going to make us move our patients out to other Columbus hospitals, I am going to move out also. Chet must have heard me talking, and he said to me ‘You can't do that.’ He told me ‘I'm going to retire today, and I want you to take my place.’ I was absolutely flabbergasted when he stepped down the next morning. So in 1978 I did take his place as Director of the Division, and we fought through some real problems: bed problems, political problems, personnel problems. I started as Director in 1978 and stayed in that position till 1985-86.
‘There were still only 2 urologists on the staff with me when I took over. We received virtually no financial support from the university; no support from the Department of Surgery. We had to generate from patient care the income to support our faculty positions. At the time I was given an office, and my salary was $16,000, which, by the way, didn't change during my entire time as a full time faculty member. I don't know what Chet’s pay was, but I don't think it was much more than $50,000. So you had to get a big practice going, and we did that. To do so we had to go out into the central Ohio area to speak, and, oh my goodness, at least 2-3 times a week I was off somewhere giving a lecture or a talk to build up the University’s practice. Between this and late night rounds, I was never at home.
“At the time when I took over in ’78, I was doing a lot of pediatric urology. We had at Children’s Hospital a part-time faculty person, Dr. John Smith, who was in private practice and who had literally saved pediatric urology from being taken over by the pediatric surgeons. I felt that we needed a full time person at Children’s, so the first faculty person I hired was Dr. Ken Crooks who had trained at Massachusetts General Hospital. I stopped doing pediatrics and started doing mainly oncology. Unfortunately, shortly after coming to Columbus, Ken, at age 32, had a fatal heart attack, and I had to find someone to take his place. I was really fortunate in that I was able to persuade Dr. Stephen Koff to leave Ann Arbor and come to Ohio to be the Chief of Pediatric Urology. Steve, as you know, has done a fantastic job, becoming both nationally and internationally a leading figure in the pediatric field.”
Dr Wise stopped being the Director of the Division in 1985, and the Dean’s appointed search committee, which had no urologist member, recommended the appointment of Dr Joseph Drago. Dr. Drago served as Director for several years, but he left the faculty as a result of political and academic problems. Dr Robert Badalamant, who was on the urology faculty at the time, agreed to serve as Director for a 6 month period.
"I was in Florida on vacation at the time of the Drago turmoil, and I got a call from Steve asking me to come back a little earlier than planned. ‘Why don't you have dinner with us at Lindy’s ?’ he said. I left my wife in Florida, flew back to Columbus, and went to Lindy’s. not knowing who "us" was. I was surprised to find Dr. Ron Ferguson, the Chairman of Surgery, with Steve, and the first words out of Steve’s mouth were ‘Congratulations’. I said ‘What’s that?’ He said ‘You're back as head of the division.’ At this time the urology program had been placed on probation nationally which was a real problem when it came time to recruit candidates for a residency position. So I took over somewhat against my will, and certainly against my wife’s wishes, went back again as the full time Director of the division and chiefly made changes so that we could successfully go through a residency review. I knew all of the people on the AUA residency review committee, and with their help we got off probation.
“That accomplished, there was the matter of trying to find someone to take my place At the time I knew Bob [Dr. Robert Bahnson] very well because of the papers he had presented at various academic meetings and because of our mutual love of playing golf. I told the search committee, which this time had an urologist on it, that they should take a look at this guy, and Bob got hired. And what a good move this has turned out to be, as in the years he has been Chairman, the Division has become a Department, and the faculty members have exploded in numbers. The Urology Department is now something the medical school can brag about proudly.
“I can't remember the year when Chet retired, and I regret that I have not stayed in touch with him as well as I should have. He and his wife, Mary, still live in Worthington, and he has continued to write books and to give lectures on any number of subjects. I see him a couple of times a year, but not as much as we used to. He’s still a person for whom I have great respect.
“I do know the year when I retired completely from the faculty and from practicing medicine. Every now and then I will get a call and someone will ask me to come around and take a look at how things have progressed since I left. I really haven't done this, I guess because I worked so hard when I was in practice that, when I quit, I wanted to walk away completely. I did, and it was very difficult to do. I hated giving up seeing patients, and I missed the opportunity of being in an academic place where you get stimulated to do things new and different every day. But the thing I missed most of all was the teaching of young men and women, especially residents. I think the residents are your ambassadors. The fun part of being the head of a division or department is the chance to interact with kids who don't know much about urology and urological surgeries, and 3 or 4 years later, hopefully, their training will allow them to go out and say “I learned this at Ohio State University.” I think that’s very important. There were a lot of residents that did well. I wish more had gone into an academic career, but, not making excuses, we were so busy trying to survive financially that there wasn't enough time for them to take off to do some research and to write significant papers. I think that’s an important time a residency program must set aside. The residents have to have some time during which they can dedicate totally to research, catching up on projects rather than seeing patients and doing the everyday scut work you have to do.
“I knew when I stepped down that there was no way I could just hang on and hang around, and I also thought, when Bob came, he would want to be his own boss. I did give him some suggestions and warnings about people he would have to deal with. He listened to some of what I said, and I think I helped with his move to OSU. As for me staying around, I just thought I should get the hell out of the way.
“I recently was asked about my thoughts concerning philanthropy, and I am not sure I have anything of consequence to say on this subject. However, I did watch an interesting program where Warren Buffet and Bill Gates discussed this subject. Both of them said that giving back to the community rather than giving everything to your own kids is something we all should think about. I think that’s true. The funds that we generate for the Wise chair hopefully some day will be used to better serve the community by having better and better urologists to put into it.
“When I donated the initial part of the funds for the endowed professor and chair, I hoped that they would be used to support a person for Urologic Oncology. My thought at the time was that there should be at least 2 or 3 chairs in urology. I think that’s the key to having a really good department. It would be great if enough funding were in place to make it so that the faculty was not encumbered by constantly trying to get a university salary or trying to see a thousand patients a day to make their income. I think that’s what a chair should be used for, to supply some extra funds that will allow the faculty person some free time.
“I think the Urology Department at OSU today has a number of its faculty who are dedicated to becoming expert in certain aspects of urology. I obviously would leave the choice of how to use the Wise Professorship and Chair funds completely up to Dr. Bahnson. However, my thoughts have changed in the last few years, and, if I had my druthers, I'd like to see someone join the Department to be a teacher of general urology, teach how to do vasectomies and circumcisions and hydroceles and stuff that the residents are going to need to do on the outside when they are in an everyday practice. In any case I hope that others will donate funds so that this chair will become fully funded.”